Washington city officials are advising residents who have had past problems with freezing water pipes to take extra precautions during this severe cold spell.  

City Administrator Jim Briggs said the city's public works department has had several calls from residents reporting that pipes froze inside their homes.

When crews responded, they found that in all cases, the breaks occurred on lines entering homes along exterior walls, usually on the norths, Briggs said.

He said homeowners can prevent pipes from freezing and breaking by turning on cold water faucets to a trickle, which will keep water moving through the pipes.

Another thing they can do is place a drop cord near a pipe and leave the light turned on so it provides a small amount of heat around the pipe, he said.